Wenino: Reject Religion Freedom Restoration Act
It is my hope that House Bill 83, “The Religious Freedom Restoration Act,” is overwhelmingly rejected. This bill is an example of the dark side of religion; fanatical and ignorant. How is issuing a marriage license, taking a photograph or baking a cake for a gay couple a violation of anyone’s Christian faith? Doing one’s job is not an endorsement of anything and it does not require changing one’s religious beliefs. Doing one’s job just requires being civil in a civil pluralistic society. We live in a secular constitutional republic not a Christian theocracy. I often wonder if people understand and appreciate the significance of that fact well enough. Rejecting HB83 would demonstrate respect for our Constitution.
In my reading of the New Testament I see where Jesus tells his followers to do to others as they would have others do to them. In Romans 13, the apostle Paul tells Christians to obey every law of the land and in I Corinthians 5 he tells them that it is not his business to judge those outside the faith. In I Peter 4, the apostle Peter tells Christians not to be busybodies in other people’s matters. No where can I find where Christians are commanded or given permission to discriminate, deny equal rights and protections under the law or to behave so rudely to anyone who lives and believes differently from themselves.
I don’t think HB83 restores religious freedom, I think it gives license to discriminate and behave rudely. Discrimination is hateful. Is this how Christians stand up for their faith? Is this how they give testimony to Jesus and follow his teaching? Jesus’ teaching of treating others as one wants to be treated is an example of the good side of religion.